Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Urgent help needed! Wife without hot water for 5 days is about to go ballistic!

danlin
danlin Member Posts: 15
Hello, we have an indirect hot water with a 15-year old Crown boiler that quit working last Friday. First we thought that we ran out of propane and the needle on a tank gauge stuck at 7%, but after a delivery yesterday, it turned out that the problem is in a boiler. The supply and ignition checked out OK, the vent fan is working, but the burners wont fire. I suspect it has to do with that Honeywell shutoff valve. I'm researching my options before calling in a technician, since we live with my parent's who are on a very limited income and I'm in a process of building my own house witch drained all of my savings. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,331
    This is not a do-it-yourself job. Call a pro. Try the Find a Contractor page of this site, here:

    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • danlin
    danlin Member Posts: 15
    edited June 2015
    Thanks! That's what I thought, just wanted to make sure. Unfortunately ...

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,331
    Ithaca, NY area- anyone here who serves that area?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,832
    I have to ask,
    Why is everything soaking wet?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    KC_JonesRobert O'Brien
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,759
    Is this basement flooded on a seasonal basis? The gas valve looks to have been wet. The boiler looks aged beyond its 15 years.

    You definitely need a pro.....if the basement cannot stay dry then the boiler should be raised up above flood level.

    The pro you get will want to and should replace the gas valve and ignition control. IMHO

    If you had actual flooding maybe the homeowner's insurance will help you out.
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,692
    Whatever you do it will need to be raised up adequately . That water has got to be managed also . Not just standing water , it is apparent that this basement is always very damp . Hope you are able to find someone able to help .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • todd_ecr
    todd_ecr Member Posts: 91
    I'd recommend Ron Shipe. I've been out on a couple of site visits with him and his installation work is top notch.
  • danlin
    danlin Member Posts: 15
    edited June 2015
    Thanks to all for your input! I consulted a handyman friend and he suggested to change the pilot, witch I did and it fixed it. Happy wife = happy life! And all the moisture is not because of flooding but from condensation in a damp basement. We are aware that we need to address that.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,832
    Before I started running a dehumidifier my basement was damp. I often saw a RH of 80% down there and my water meter would sweat a little in the summer.

    The severe moisture and water problems should have been rectified before that boiler was put back into service.

    THIS IS DANGEROUS.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    todd_ecrKC_Jones
  • todd_ecr
    todd_ecr Member Posts: 91
    I agree with Chris, it doesn't look good. The moisture and condition of the gas valve is alarming. That gas valve is a critical for the safe operation of your boiler and exposure to moisture like we see can compromise the safety and integrity of the control. If it malfunctions, it can put your property, and your lives at risk. Get it looked at by a pro.
    JUGHNE
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,759
    edited June 2015
    The gas valve must get power to open but relies on mechanical spring working to close it. With the corrosion that valve has seen it may well not close as it should. If the burner is on it would remain on forever. If flame gets snuffed out on ignition as main valve opens and happens to stick open without gas being burned safely inside the boiler it spews out onto the floor (propane is heavier than air). You may not smell it until you go down the basement and hit a light switch and then you won't smell anything anymore. BOOM!!

    I have personally seen all of the above happen.
    The guy who turned on the basement light is still alive, (did lose his sense of smell along with other respiratory body parts.)
    They saved the stair tread he was standing on because his shoes were melted into the wood as well as the bottom of his feet. (it was thought that that wood would be needed to be presented in court )

    There is no reason for me to make this up.

    By the way he was out of hot water too.

    Edit: this was new equipment someone had converted from NG to Propane. He claimed not smelling anything. His family drew a container of LP out of the tank and said that odorant had not been added to the LP gas. (I guess it is pretty odorless otherwise).
    It was settled out of court about 30 years ago. However the victim now may lose a foot to gangrene from this past incident. I haven't seen him around for a while. Do you need more incentive to fix this mess?
    Most massive LP explosions are in the rural community and don't get the hype that several blocks of NG pipeline blow ups get.
    LP usually just takes out one house and one family out in the sticks.
    Rich_49SWEI
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,832
    @JUGHNE,

    I believe propane is also heavier than air so it will fill a basement and not even give you a chance to smell it before it's too late, is this correct? If so, that makes it significantly more dangerous than natural gas.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    ChrisJ said:

    @JUGHNE,

    I believe propane is also heavier than air so it will fill a basement and not even give you a chance to smell it before it's too late, is this correct? If so, that makes it significantly more dangerous than natural gas.

    Some say yes, some say no. My understanding is that they are pretty much equal.
    HatterasguyZman
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 12,832
    edited June 2015
    RobG said:

    ChrisJ said:

    @JUGHNE,

    I believe propane is also heavier than air so it will fill a basement and not even give you a chance to smell it before it's too late, is this correct? If so, that makes it significantly more dangerous than natural gas.

    Some say yes, some say no. My understanding is that they are pretty much equal.
    So,
    Basically don't let it leak, period.

    Also wanted to add but forgot, my concern with that gas valve would be it going to close, but not closing fully and causing the burner to go out and keep seeping fuel.

    I'm sure there is far more that can go wrong than just getting stuck fully closed or open.

    I'm glad that isn't in my basement.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    RobG
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,759
    edited June 2015
    The specific gravity of air is 1.00

    For LP it is 1.53

    Natural gas is 0.60

    Early NG furnaces did not have 100% shut off of pilot lights, they were called live pilots, if they went out the NG would flow up the chimney by gravity, you might smell it if you went near the furnace.

    More pressure is need to move LP because it more than twice as heavy as NG.
    But LP has more BTU value so you need less volume.

    So someone has crunched all these numbers to determine orifice sizes and required gas delivery pressures and pipe sizes to get it there.

    My insurance agent will raise eyebrows if you mention working on LP equipment. ( it is understood that this LP work would be on a very limited basis of perhaps once or twice a year)
    ChrisJSWEI
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    My bad, I was thinking of carbon monoxide which is pretty much the same as air.
    JUGHNESWEI